Monday, June 27, 2011

An Optimistic Return

Hello Optimists,

My apologies on such a long break from the last post. I was sure it would be easier to maintain a posting schedule of sorts after the last few busy months of work and events, but things don't seem to be slowing down! I hope you're happy to hear that I have not forgotten about OO, and to be quite honest, I have missed writing and posting a lot.

I have, however, been thinking about the principles established here on OO (as I do almost everyday!) and even though I have been away from the blog for a little bit, I can say that I still have been noticing many signs of optimism around me. As you know, these signs seem to follow me and pop up in the most unexpected of places, but I welcome them at any time or place.

This weekend I made a trip back home to visit with some of my family. It was great to be able to spend some time with my parents and to see some cousins that I hadn't seen in quite some time. My mom and I got the chance to get some quality cooking and shopping time in...that's what we do best, especially when we're together, so I think it's safe to say we both enjoyed the weekend. But before I hopped on the highway, my mom and I went on one last shopping trip to a retail store whose sales were supposed to be pretty great. Unfortunately, I couldn't find anything that really caught my eye - until my mom pointed something out to me.

I was looking through a rack of clothing when my mom said, "Hey! Look at what this ad says!" and she pointed to the sign right above my eye level. It was at this moment that my shopping trip went from being quite dull to being much more fun. I pulled out my phone to snap a picture of the ad so I could share it with you here.

I know the reflection of the lights is a bit distracting, so if you can't make out the words, here is what it says:

"A positive attitude is something you're born with. It drives you to always do your best, both on the court and off." -Kim Clijsters

I agree that it is something you're born with - but I think we're all born with it - and we just need to take the time to cultivate this attitude and make it a part of life. Even the most negative of personalities has positivity buried deep inside of them. It was there from the start, but maybe it just hasn't been given the chance to come forward and to make it a part of life. No matter if you're a tennis star or not, you can sure relate to this message.

I felt great after seeing that sign, as I just love when little reminders of positivity pop into life. The weekend as a whole went by quickly, as it seems to when you're having fun, and before I knew it, I was back on the road and heading back to my place.

Along the way another little sign passed me by. As I was driving, a van passed that was covered in an ad for Lipton tea. Now, this wasn't a commercial vehicle that was delivering or transporting the tea, it was a domestic Dodge minivan, wrapped in a big green and yellow ad. A little strange.

As the van passed me by, I took one last glance at the striking green and yellow colors and noticed the logo and tag line on the back windshield. "Lipton Tea - Drink on the Bright Side" was gleaming in the sunlight. I had never before seen this ad and certainly have never heard this tag line from Lipton. I just smiled and chuckled to myself as the van moved on, but I couldn't stop thinking about the message.

You never know where little reminders of optimism are going to pop up. And for the rest of the ride, I couldn't seem to wipe that little smile off my face.

Keep Smiling,

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Internal Thoughts

Image: Google

Hello Optimists,

I was watching a webinar the other day about a topic unrelated to this blog, yet as it always seems to happen, I found myself thinking about how I should share some of the things I learned in it with you. Though the topic was business-related, there was one quote that the leader of the webinar shared with us that I thought was pretty great. It was spoken to her by a trusted friend (and a very wise friend at that!) and it really stuck with her. I know that once she told us those words of wisdom her friend had shared, it stuck with me as well.... and I have a feeling that it's going to make an impact with you too.
Be careful what you tell yourself, because it's probably what will happen.
 Ah, another reminder of why positive thinking is so important! This one is pretty hard to do though, and it is often one roadblock I face. It's easy to knock down your ideas or convince yourself otherwise about something you'd like to do. It's easy to find reasons why your ideas just won't work and why you're silly to even think of them. But we must be careful about what we say...because we're really good at convincing ourselves to do (or not do) something.

I featured another quote a while back by Henry Ford that is similar to this one: "Whether you think that you can, or that you can't, you are usually  right". And it's so true! I know that envisioning a goal is really only a small part of actually reaching it, and that a lot of other hard work and dedication needs to go into things, but you can never even get to that hard work without having the courage to go after the goal in the first place. So it really all boils down to the fact that we need to think positively about things if we want to have a positive outcome. No good will come of negative thoughts or constant shots to your ego.

I'm going to try to keep this in mind all the time, and I hope you will too. Do you find it hard to keep a positive internal conversation going?

Keep Smiling,
Optimal Optimist

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Live Without These Top Regrets

Image: Google

Hello Optimists,

A friend shared a link the other day on Facebook that directed me to a blog post and after reading it, it left me almost speechless. In fact, the only thing I could say was, "Wow...".  I knew immediately that I had to share this post with you.

The article was entitled, "Nurse Reveals the Top 5 Regrets People Make on their Deathbed". Normally, I don't like to think about death, or about the moments of regret that people face, but after reading through the post, it really hit me that the regrets mentioned here were at the core of what Optimal Optimist is all about eliminating from life.

Here are the top 5 regrets people make on their deathbed:

1. I wish I'd had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected from me.
2. I wish I didn't work so hard.
3. I wish I'd had the courage to express my feelings.
4. I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends.
5. I wish that I had let myself be happier.

Ugh, it just pulls at your heart, doesn't it? It's amazing the absolute clarity with which we see things at the moments they are just about to end, and it's unfortunate that in this case, we don't get the chance to go back and change things once life is over here on Earth.

The first and the fifth regret were the ones that moved me the most, and they are two very important parts of being an Optimal Optimist. Having the courage to live a life true to yourself is something that not many people can do because they are constantly seeking the approval of others or striving to meet unrealistic expectations set by those around them. Living true to yourself is not being selfish; it is quite the opposite. By living true to yourself, you are setting a great example for others to follow and allowing yourself to be the best you can be for everyone's benefit.

Letting yourself be happier is one of the topics we discuss quite frequently here on OO. As I always say, happiness is a state of mind, and you need to make a conscious decision to be happy every day if that's the life you want to live. So go ahead, let yourself be happier. Starting today.

I remembered a short quote about regret that could not be more fitting for today's post. It's one that I think will be easy for you all to remember and I hope is one that will be easy for you to put to action in your life.
Forget regret, or life is yours to miss. -Jonathan Larson
I feel fortunate to have come across this article because it brought me to a moment of clarity and allowed me to stop and think about the things that I may be doing now that can possibly turn into some of my greatest regrets later in life.

If you would like to see the original post, it can be found here. I would love for you to share with me your thoughts about it and if there is anything that you do to live a life with no regrets.

Keep Smiling,

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Are you Happy?

Hello Optimists,

I was just browsing the web yesterday and came across a great graphic. As soon as I saw it, I knew I had to share it with you, and share the quote that immediately came to mind.

Check it out:

If you always do what you've always done, you'll always get what you've always gotten. -Anthony Robbins

This is great - to the point and quite accurate. A lot of times we experience some highs and lows in life, but it's important to recognize them so we can either keep that high going or change things up to boost our lows.

What's important to note is that being happy is a conscious decision. Do you want to be happy? Most of us do, and we all can be happy most of the time - we just need to make the decision to do so...and that's why learning to be an Optimist is so important!

Do you try to recognize when things in your life need to change so you can be a happier person?

Keep Smiling,